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Author Topic: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's  (Read 7297 times)

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Offline admkrk

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #45 on: January 26, 2017, 11:58:51 PM »
I think I would pick up a UA-5 Oade warm mod if one came available.

While I have never owned AKGs, I did run a warm mod UA-5 for several years. If I could go back in time I would choose a transparent mod instead. That could be due to me mostly flying KM140s, but I came to feel that that the warm mod "muddied" up my recordings, although I enjoyed them originally.

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Tube emulation is an easy route to make things sound "warm", "transformer-ish", "phat", etc.
I think you should have left the bold part out. Transformer-ish and tubes are at opposite ends of the spectrum. The warm/fat sound of tubes is primarily due to distortion that transformers do not normally/easily reproduce. 
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Offline Limit35

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #46 on: January 27, 2017, 12:44:39 AM »

I wonder how much of this conversation is on based legacy information, that preamp "color" makes up for a hardware EQ system that would have been needed in the past.  It is really easy to have great audio editing software for a low price or even free.  Depending on the situation, 10-30 years ago, editing your tapes audio was a time issue or economically unfeasible.  Maybe it didn't matter that much what the end result was as an audiophile probably had equipment to color the playback anyways.  If one wants to buy/mod a pre to fit mics, which fits the recorder for that sound, great.  Building a tool is cool.  But, is it needed now or just a historical carry over of taping traditions? It's probably not needed in the current era as Gutbucket and Jon have pointed to above. I have so many free audio tools I couldn't possibly learn all of them, I think 80% of my software is totally ignored. That's a huge difference from audio editing even 10 years ago.

Offline ~Jon Stoppable

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #47 on: January 27, 2017, 01:03:12 AM »
I think you should have left the bold part out. Transformer-ish and tubes are at opposite ends of the spectrum. The warm/fat sound of tubes is primarily due to distortion that transformers do not normally/easily reproduce.

That's not really true.  First, there isn't really a single "tube sound", because the circuit configuration makes a lot of difference.  A push-pull circuit will have a very different harmonic series than a single-ended circuit; transformers can yield a similar sound to the former.  Second, you generally don't get tubes without transformers (except for hybrid tube/solid state circuits), so the sound of the two are intertwined.

Offline admkrk

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #48 on: January 27, 2017, 03:24:49 AM »
That is my bad, I mixed up transformer with transistor. The guy at the electronic shop gets pissed at me all the time for mixing up terminology. 
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Offline CorFit Chris

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RE: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #49 on: January 27, 2017, 10:33:00 AM »

Regardless if you want to do that kind of thing on a regular basis or not, if at all (I already hear the counter argument- "I don't want to have to do any of that stuff to my recordings"), that kind of knowledge provides a deeper awareness of the nuts and bolts of how sound and hearing works, what can and cannot be manipulated easily, and dispels much of the mystery surrounding the "sound of gear itself".  I may not choose to not invest the time to do that kind of stuff on a particular recording, but I have a better idea of what I can do, how much effort it takes, and can make an informed decision on what is appropriate.. and I won't hesitate to EQ it.

This is good to hear, because I have had an internal battle going on regarding EQ.  Though most show details don't include the term "EQ" in their processing comments, I always figure they do some sort of EQ before posting.  So, I wondered, do they leave out the "EQ" intentionally?  If so, is it because its not considered appropriate to mess with the captured recording by introducing your own personal tweeks to the sound.  Maybe that is a carryover from the arrogant few with higher quality (expensive) gear, allowing them to maintain their taping dominance over the recording peasants.  Just kidding, obviously no one does that...

I have spent lots of time on trial periods of various software working the EQ and other processing features.  Without any formal training or experience, I have slowely learned a few things.  The first was to NOT post my show after the initial processing attempt.  I found that I grossly overprocessed my recordings.  Returning later to revise the recordings has allowed me pull back some of the processing input.  But, as we all know, the learning curve takes a shit ton of time!  Its probably this part of the taping addition that puts more strain on our outside relationships (women, work, sleep) than the actual concerts themselves.  So, to end this I will say the I am glad to get some support in the notion of investing time and energy into the post processing.  It would be MOST EXCELLENT to see a group of you start to put together a series of short video tutorials of various processing essentials and how they affect the recordings specific to what we do.  Maybe some standards with Audacity, Audition, Izotope, etc.  Just a thougt from someone who seems to be alone on an island in this big ocean of taping.  Except for this forum of course.  LOL
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #50 on: January 27, 2017, 11:51:19 AM »
I think what is noted in the recording notes is in large part legacy based and defacto standardized, a direct descendant of historical trading modes, sort of another extension of the angle Limit35 mentions above, and with which I agree.  The most basic info I find commonly lacking in the recording notes which I always look for is mention of the microphone setup configuration, as that makes a larger contribution to the sound of the resulting recording (and is important to know if trying to make a judgement as a taper) than other inconsequential stuff commonly listed in far more detail in the transfer lineage.  I'd just like to see general spacing and angle info, or note of DIN or NOS or ORTF or whatever in addition to the model and make of the microphones.  Many tapers do note that, but many others don't.

There are two three good counter arguments for EQing and other post manipulation other than straight normalizing, tracking and fading that I can think of:
1) Don't want additional post work burden.
2) Obscures the "as it sounds raw" output of the microphones. 
3) Don't want to unintentionally do more harm than good.

We've covered one, and each taper can make their own choice there, depending on their own mindset and the value they attach to the recording.  Argument two only matters to other tapers trying to make generalized gear comparisons by listening to a number of recordings made with the same microphones, and with the caveat of realizing there are many other variables which may make such comparisons useless- room, band, pa, soundguy, mic config, etc.  It's argument three which I think is the strongest counter argument, relates directly into what you just mentioned, and the most problematic.

It's relatively easy to determine that the recording sounds better to you after your post manipulations, but is it really better in an objective sense, for everyone else? And although some aspects are better, have I made other things worse? Have I limited the options for what someone else can do to it later if they so choose?  The potential problem I see is not so much that the changes introduced are personal tweaks that other folks may not agree with which, because it's accepted as okay to personally tweak everything else- deciding to record or not, what gear to use, what configuration to use, where to setup, how to manage levels, even tracking and fading decisions. Rather it's trying to make sure you aren't fooling yourself, or correcting for something specific only to your own hearing or the deficiencies of your monitoring setup.  Those are very real and difficult to assess potential problems, but using a less that optimal setup configuration or recording from a less than optimal location is also a real problem which strongly effects the resulting recording, and although some may ask why you chose to record using a particular microphone configuration rather than the one they think would be best, none would suggest that the choice of whichever microphone setup you use isn't something you should be deciding for yourself.

Listen again later to confirm you're on the right track, check things on a few different systems to develop a sense of what you need to work around in your own preferences and the deficiencies of your monitoring system used for the editing. And when in doubt, it may be a good safe bet to dial back your corrections and euphonious tweaks a bit.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #51 on: January 27, 2017, 12:29:01 PM »
OT-

Along those lines I've dreamed of an alternative universe where its easy to save/distribute the raw unedited recording along with a companion configuration file.  That configuration file would contain all ancillary information, set information, recording notes, all editing decisions from track points and fades to EQ, compression, spectral edits etc, mixdown information if the recording is more than two channels or mid/side or whatever.  That way you could produce multiple configuration files for the same source (want a dynamics limited binarual head-phone version suitable for jogging as well as a wide-dynamics version for speaker playback?, want a 4-channel quad mix version?) and anyone else could go back and modify the original source material however they like.  That would provide an escape hatch against argument three- you can always make a new updated configuration file as your skill set and monitoring improve, or as better and more powerful software tools become available.  And so can anyone else, without harm to the raw original or access to the same tools you used.

If we were to try and make that a reality, it would be difficult in the real world to arrive at a universal open-source metadata format which specifies many of those things accurately.  Tracking, fades, notes, photos, and that kind of thing isn't hard, we already have cue sheets and such, it's the EQ, compression, mixing and other audio edits which is the problem there.  But even that problem easily avoided by including a WAV in the configuration file which is the same length as the raw source file and contains all those changes in differential form.  You wouldn't want to listen to that on its own, it would be like listening to the inverse of the EQ curve and everything else applied.  Instead the player would simply read both files and mix them together to output the appropriately edited version, in addition to following the tracking and fade information located elsewhere in the config file.  Other users could start from scratch with their own edits and produce an entirely new differential WAV, or start from your differential file and tweak it more to their liking without needing to have the exact plugins you used.  Either way the original is always goes untouched.

[/dream]
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Offline morst

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #52 on: January 27, 2017, 05:02:23 PM »
Neat idea, I've long contemplated a system where the end user got to mix their own recordings or could pick from mixes from famous engineers and producers?!

In your system the WAVs could be compressed losslessly, so they don't quite have to be full size.  However, you'll still have to have one such file for each track in the original, thus approximately doubling file size for two-tracks, or any number of tracks!

By coincidence  :shrug:  this is about the same amount of space that it would require to record at double the sample rate, but this gives us so much more value than the vaunted 22,000-44,000 Hz range!?!   :wink2:

OT-

Along those lines I've dreamed of an alternative universe where its easy to save/distribute the raw unedited recording along with a companion configuration file.
(SNIP away a whole bunch of your awesome idea for my response)

 But even that problem easily avoided by including a WAV in the configuration file which is the same length as the raw source file and contains all those changes in differential form
[/dream]
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Offline admkrk

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #53 on: January 27, 2017, 11:39:14 PM »
"IF" everyone used the same software, it might be possible. The effort to write plugins for different configurations would probably need NASA's budget though, assuming that would be enough.
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Offline ~Jon Stoppable

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #54 on: January 28, 2017, 08:57:31 AM »
It's possible to just specify an IIR or FIR filter with a series of coefficients (a handful for IIR, a whole lot more for FIR, but most people use IIR filters for most purposes when mixing).  Dynamics controls or other nonlinear processes (such as exciting, saturation, etc.) are a lot more complicated, but if all you want to do is EQ, and provided you left enough headroom before the EQ process, you could provide the processed file plus the set of IIR coefficients, which could then be exactly reversed.  And if you provide the processed file in 32 bit float, you don't have to worry about the headroom issue.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #55 on: January 30, 2017, 09:21:01 AM »
"IF" everyone used the same software, it might be possible. The effort to write plugins for different configurations would probably need NASA's budget though, assuming that would be enough.

Nah, the whole point of using a differential file or impulse response correction filter is the avoidance of that problem.   The method Jon just outlined achieves the lion's share of it in a lightweight way with minimal excess file size burden.  That's basically a front end equivalent to what room correction routines are currently doing on on the back end, except in this case the correction filters are specific to each audio file and would be stored and retrieved along with them, instead of being specific to the playback room and stored in the correction device. 

The differential sum method I proposed above requires more storage overhead as it doubles the file size for each different correction file, although I suspect the differential correction file might be able to have a bit depth of less than the target file, correlated with the depth of correction being done.  That approach would include the ability to manage dynamics though, important for adapting to various target listening uses for commercially mastered material.  Loudness war inverted.  But even more important for application to our raw amateur live concert recordings which have no dynamic management applied yet.
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Offline admkrk

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #56 on: January 30, 2017, 06:44:29 PM »
I guess I am just not understanding the process of something like that.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #57 on: January 31, 2017, 08:44:20 AM »
Let's break this OT conversation out to another thread.  I'll do that and link it here..
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Offline ~Jon Stoppable

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #58 on: January 31, 2017, 11:41:42 AM »
I'm not seeing the utility of the differential file, unless it actually could have reduced bit depth.  If not, it would be the same file size as pre- and post-files.  But even with reduced bit depth, you'd need a calculation to restore the original bit depth because you'd be throwing out MSBs, not LSBs.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #59 on: January 31, 2017, 12:10:46 PM »
Yeah, that's what I realized upon thinking about it more.  Bundling a differential file would effectively take the same storage space as including a new edited mix along with the original raw file.  Other angles though, and it's an interesting enough topic to continue elsewhere.  I may not get to that today though..
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

 

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